Best budget PC cases for affordable builds in 2023
These won't cost you an arm and a leg while offering pretty solid quality for the price.
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There are many different PC enclosures out there, and even though the best models can cost more than a capable gaming CPU, there’s a great selection of budget PC cases. These won’t cost you an arm and a leg while offering pretty solid specs for the price. If you aren’t on a limited budget, do visit our cases section and check out our other PC cases buying guides.
Today, we will check out the best budget PC cases in 10 different categories. Below you can find budget cases with the best airflow, great RGB cases for users on a budget, a relatively affordable full tower case, a couple of budget chassis with support for vertical GPU mount, and more. Note that, in some categories (water cooling support, for instance), we picked cases that sport a bit higher prices. But the reality is that if you need a budget case for a custom loop or a full tower case, budget options in these markets are higher priced than in most other categories.
Let’s start with the airflow pick since this PC chassis type is the most popular at the moment. There are a bunch of excellent airflow cases, and among those, the Eclipse P360A from Phanteks is the best budget option. This case does cost a bit higher than most other budget options, but you get a lot for the price.
First of all, the thermals are superb, probably the best among budget airflow cases. Next, you get two excellent PWM RGB fans included with the case that justifies the higher price (for a budget chassis). And then, we have a brilliant design with a slick-looking metal mesh front panel and the RGB strip on the bottom of the glass side panel. Overall, this isn’t just one of the best budget airflow cases; the P360A is also one of the best budget RGB cases.
As for the core specs, you get support for up to five 120mm case fans (or up to four 140mm case fans), up to a 280mm radiator on the front, and a 240mm unit on the top. The housing supports full-sized graphics cards, E-ATX motherboards, and up to five storage drives (up to five 2.5” or two 3.5” and three 2.5’ drives). Overall, this is a brilliant little case and one of the best budget PC cases you can get right now, no matter the category.
2. Cooler Master MasterBox NR200: Best budget ITX case
The NR200 came and revolutionized the Mini-ITX market. It isn’t as cheap as most other enclosures shown here, but the ITX form factor always included a price premium making the NR200 the best budget ITX case.
It comes with excellent liquid cooling support (can house one 240mm radiator at the bottom and one 280mm at the side), two pre-installed PWM fans, and enough space to install up to 7 case fans. Dust filters cover every opening, which is great for a budget ITX case.
You can fit full-sized, three-slot GPUs inside, as well as CPU heatsinks up to 155mm in height. NR200 can house either an SFX or an SFX-L power supply, and you also get enough space for up to four storage drives. There’s also support for vertical GPU mount. As for the front panel, it includes two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports and one combo audio jack. No USB-C here.
Overall, the NR200 is a beast of an ITX case. You get excellent thermals, lots of room to build inside the case, and excellent cable management. The design is subdued yet instantly recognizable, and the NR200 comes with a mesh side panel. There’s also the NR200P that comes with a glass side panel. But, it’s more expensive and has worse thermals.
The Montech X2 chassis looks mighty fine. It features three preinstalled RGB case fans and has a pretty solid airflow thanks to the mesh front panel that allows for unrestricted airflow.
When it comes to the specs, you can install GPUs up to 305mm in length, and a CPU heatsinks up to 165mm in height. Not bad, but don’t forget to check the size of the GPU you want to pair with these two cases before pulling the trigger.
One of the main reasons for picking the Montech X2 is the combination of excellent thermals and a mesh front panel. We picked the X2 in front of other budget RGB options that usually come with a solid glass front panel. A glass front panel looks great, but your CPU and GPU will feel like they are in a sauna.
As for the storage space, you get four drive bays. When it comes to the case fans, the X2 supports up to five fans (three RGB fans are pre-installed). Finally, the front panel on both cases features RGB fan controls, two USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 port, as well as headphone and microphone jacks.
Okay, you want to go full white with your build, but the housing has to be affordable. If that’s your situation, we can recommend the NZXT H510 if you’re after the best looks. We can confirm, from first-hand experience, that the H510 is excellent to work in and that the case has above-average thermal performance. It’s far from the best but also far from being horrible.
The case comes with two fans (top and rear) that work fine. They can be a bit louder and aren’t PWM, but are serviceable. The case also supports two case fans on the front, but they won’t get you much of an improvement in thermals. As for the clearance, you can install any GPU (up to 325mm if you have a front-mounted AIO) and a CPU heatsink up to 165mm in height.
Liquid cooling support is average. You have space for a 240mm or a 280mm AIO on the front, a 120mm on the back, and that’s it. Finally, there’s room for four storage drives (2×2.5” and 2×3.5”). Overall, the H510 is a bit more expensive than your typical budget case, but for the price, you get a chassis with one of the best designs on the market.
If you’re looking for a white PC case but aren’t constrained by a limited budget, you could check out our guide for the best white PC cases. If you want to have a chassis with a unique color choice but white isn’t your thing, don’t worry; we have a list of the best pink PC cases for you to read.
5. Cooler Master MasterBox Q300L: Best mATX budget case
mATX case market isn’t as populated with quality budget solutions as the mid-tower niche, but you can find a quality and affordable chassis. One of the best Micro ATX budget PC cases is the Cooler Master MasterBox Q300L.
This is a great-looking case that’s quite affordable and that comes with a mesh front panel, enough room for up to five case fans or a 240mm radiator (front side), and two large dust filters on the front and the top side.
You’ve got one preinstalled case fan, but if you want to get the best airflow, you should get two additional fans and place them on the front and top. Clearance is great. You can install a GPU up to 360mm in length, as well as a 159mm tall CPU cooler.
The Q300L has room for up to three storage drives. Not perfect, but pretty solid. We don’t like the dust filters on this enclosure because they limit airflow, resulting in worse than expected thermal performance. We also don’t like the acrylic side panel. Lots of budget cases offer tempered glass nowadays.
6. Phanteks Enthoo Pro: Best full-tower budget case
Full-tower budget cases are few and far between since they aren’t as popular as ten years ago. Budget models cost as high as mid-range mid-tower housings, and the cheapest one we recommend is the Phanteks Enthoo Pro.
You have three versions of the case. There’s one with a metal side panel, acrylic side panel, and side panel made of tempered glass. The tempered glass version costs ten percent higher than the other two. You also have a white version of the case.
As for the specs, the case’s great for workstations that include Bly-Ray drives and external storage drives since you get four 5.25” drive bays. Next, there’s enough room for up to 10 case fans (you get one 200mm on the front and one 140mm on the back with the case) and up to 420mm radiator on the top+240mm radiator on the front+240mm radiator on the bottom. Overall, excellent cooling support.
The case supports GPUs up to 347mm in length and CPU coolers up to 193mm in height. When it comes to storage drives, the Enthoo Pro features six 3.5” and seven 2.5” drive bays, with room for further expansion. The front panel features two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports and the headphone and microphone jacks.
Finally, the case is a joy to work in since it’s a full-tower chassis with a modular design that supports removing most of the panels. We like this case very much despite its dated design because it’s cheap, has excellent liquid cooling support, features pretty solid airflow, and has a perfect modular configuration.
7. Vetroo M01 & Thermaltake Core V21: Best budget case with vertical GPU mount
PC cases featuring vertical GPU mounts aren’t usually found in the budget section, but we managed to find an excellent choice. Our pick for the best budget case with a vertical GPU mount is the Vetroo M01, which looks mighty cool. The unusual design with the center of the front panel featuring mesh covering and a huge 200mm fan hits the bullseye.
You get solid airflow but also a unique-looking case that will make an impression. You can install up to three extra fans on the top and backside. The front side also supports two 120mm fans but considering that only the middle of the panel has mesh covering, we would keep the 200mm fan you get with the case.
As for the water cooling support, you can install a 240mm radiator on the top and up to 280mm radiator on the front. The clearance for the GPU is 340mm, and the CPU heatsink is 180mm, which is excellent for a mid-tower case. Next, we have four drive bays in total, solid cable management, and a front panel that includes RGB controls, one USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, and two audio jacks.
On the other hand, the layout is not great, so you will have some issues when building inside this case. Overall, the Vetroo M01 is a solid case but remember that you need to get a PCI-e riser for the vertical GPU mount.
8. Nanoxia Rexgear 2: Best budget PC case with a handle
Portable cases with handles usually don’t come cheap, but the Nanoxia Rexgear 2 is an exception. This mATX case features sturdy carrying handles. Even though it features an aggressive design that was popular like half a decade ago, it’s still a quality budget case if you need the portability.
As for the specs, you get two case fans (one 200mm on the front and one 140mm on the back), with enough room for six fans in total. The case can fit a graphics card up to 320mm (up to 345mm if you remove the front fan) in length and a CPU cooler up to 163mm in height (187 without the top fan).
Liquid cooling support is superb, with enough space for two 240mm radiators on the top and the front. As for the drive bays, you can install up to eight storage drives (three 3.5” and two 2.5”). Finally, the front IO features two USB 3.0 ports and dual ports for headphones and a microphone.
9. Metallic Gear Neo Silent: Best affordable quiet PC case
Don’t let the unknown brand name fool you. Metallic Gear is a Phanteks subsidiary specializing in budget cases, and the Neo Silent is their quiet case offering. For the price, which is quite affordable, you get a sound-insulated front panel, tempered glass side panel, and one pre-installed 120mm fan.
The case features a simplistic design without many details, but we like it this way. As for the clearance, you can fit a 400mm GPU along with a 170mm CPU cooler. There are four drive bays in total (2×2.5” and 2×3.5”) and enough room for up to five fans.
Water cooling support is alright for a budget case, with enough space for a 280mm radiator on the front and a 240mm AIO on the topside. Overall, this is an excellent budget case with silent operation. Sure, thermals are higher than on mesh cases, but you can’t have both.
10. MSI MPG Gungnir 111M: Best budget case for water cooling
Last but not least, we have a couple of picks for users in need of a budget case that can fit large radiators. Our primary choice is the MSI MPG Gungnir 111M. This is a mid-tower case with a slightly higher price and support for a 360mm radiator on the front and a 240mm radiator on the top. More than enough for a high-performance custom loop.
The mesh front panel is there for increased airflow, and while we aren’t in love with the design, it is not that bad. The case can house up to six case fans, and it comes with four pre-installed fans. Three of those four are RGB, and the one on the back is a regular, non-RGB model. Overall, lots of fans for the price.
The case can house up to five storage drives (three 2.5” and two 3.5”). It can fit GPUs up to 340mm in length and CPU coolers up to 170mm in height. You also get a cutout in the PSU shroud if you want to show off your power supply for some reason. Overall, an excellent case that’s a bit more expensive than your typical budget case but one that has excellent liquid cooling support.